On rolling land above the Grand, and between Thompson River and Medicine Creek, Chillicothe was laid out in 1837 as seat of newly organized Livingston County. The name is for Edward Livingston, U. S. Secy. of State, and the town is named for Chillicothe, Ohio, a Shawnee Indian tribal name.
Chillicothe developed rapidly after the completion of the historic Hannibal and St. Joseph R. R. (now C. B. & Q.) in 1859. Three miles east of town a marker stands where the final spike was driven in the track of this first railroad across Missouri. Because of the railroad, Union troops occupied the town in the Civil War and the area suffered from guerrilla raids. Renewed growth came with building of what is now the Wabash, 1870, and the Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul, 1886.
Here was the home of Chillicothe Business College, once the nation's largest business school, founded in 1890 by Allen Moore and closed in 1952. Today's St. Joseph's Academy dates from 1872, and the State Industrial Home for Girls, 1887. Southeast at Avalon, United Brethren operated Avalon College, 1873-90. The college building is now a church.
Chillicothe, a city of varied industries, lies in a livestock and grain farming county in Missouri's Glacial Plains Region. In territory ceded in 1824 by Iowa, Sac, and Fox tribes, the county's first white settler was Samuel E, Todd in 1831. Pioneers, largely from the South, came in the 1830's.
Prehistoric Indian mounds and campsites remain in the county. An Indian trail, later called Field's Trace, crossed the Grand River west of Chillicothe. Le Riviere Grande, as it was called by the early French trappers, was made a "free highway" by the state in 1839, and several steamboats came up as far as Utica, some 6 miles southwest.
Chillicothe was the home of Confed. Gen. William Y. Slack, and Alexander M. Dockery, Gov. of Mo., 1901-05, practiced medicine here. He is buried in Edgewood Cemetery where also is grave of Nelson Kneass, composer of the music for T. D. English's poem "Ben Bolt." He died here in 1868 while on theatrical tour. Earl S. and Foreman Sloan are said to have developed their liniment while running a livery stable here, 1870-72. Arthur J. and Alta T, Simpson gave land for city park.
Erected 1958 by State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 39° 46.588′ N, 93° 29.725′ W. Marker is in Chillicothe, Missouri, in Livingston County. Marker is on U.S. 36, on the right when traveling west. Marker is at entrance to airport. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Chillicothe MO 64601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Home of Sliced Bread (approx. 3.1 miles away); Heroes in History (approx. 3.2 miles away); Shale Hill Brick & Tile Plant (approx. 3.2 miles away); Webster Street (approx. 3.2 miles away); Citizens Bank & Trust (approx. 3.2 miles away); A Trophy View (approx. 3.2 miles away); Zero Mile Stone (approx. 3.2 miles away); 601-605 Locust Street (approx. 3.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chillicothe.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 14, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 438 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 14, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.